[[folder:The Inception Crew]]
!The Team
->''Assemble your team, Mr. Cobb. And choose your people more wisely.''
--> - Saito

* BadassCrew: Everyone has a CrowningMomentOfAwesome at one point or another in the film.
* CaperCrew: Everyone fulfills a specific role in the heist or at least finds some use.
* [[GentlemanThief Gentlemen Thieves]]: Granted, more subtle versions.
* GrayAndGrayMorality: All of them are generally mild-mannered and approach their job with a commendable level of professionalism (given that their job is mentally dangerous to them as well), but that job does involve searching through people's minds in order to steal important secrets and (in the film's main case) using lies to give someone an idea from the inside.
* MrExposition: They all get their part except [[TheWatson Ariadne]] and Saito. Cobb and Arthur cover basic dream-sharing terminology, Eames handles the layout for Fisher's inception and Yusef knows everything about sedation.
* [[{{SharpDressedMan}} Sharp Dressed Men and Girl]]: Especially evident at the second dream level at the hotel.
* TheTeam:
** TheSmartGuy: Averted; there's no single smart person because everyone has to be smart to be in this business.
** The Extractor: Dom [[TheLeader leads the operation]] and [[TheFace does the talking]]. He's the one pulling out information. In this case, the one planting it
** The Chemist: Yusuf mixes the phlebotium that allows the team to reach the third level
** The Architect: Ariadne was recruited to construct the dreamworld that the team would use.
** The Forger: Eames has the ability to copy someone's appearance in a dream world. [[TheBigGuy He also has a grenade launcher.]]
** The Point Man: Arthur is in charge of doing the research and he's smart enough to figure out how to simulate falling in zero gravity.
** The Tourist: Saito; yes even he counts because he's a CEO that twisted Cobb's arm into doing this in the first place.

!!Dominic "Dom" Cobb [-(Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio)-]
-> ''Our dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up we realize things were strange.''

* AntiHero: He certainly isn't a mean person, but he also doesn't hesitate to use the occasional BatmanGambit to get what he needs, depending on the job.
* BadassBoast: He's the most skilled extractor, and had boasted as such.
* BrokenAce: The foremost expert in dream-sharing technology and techniques, [[spoiler:who drove his wife insane during the process of experimentation.]]
* ByronicHero: Very guilt ridden over his wife's death.
* CannotTellFictionFromReality: Why he continuously has to spin his totem to check if he's in a dream or not.
* ColdSniper: In the third level performing several headshots on projections.
* CrusadingWidower: Though rather than revenge he wants to reunite with his children.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: His beloved wife committed suicide after making sure he would be blamed for her death, forcing him to be constantly on the run, unable to see his children.
* DeathGlare: Gives off a rather impressive one [[spoiler:once they've woken up in the plane]] to Saito. [[spoiler:Seconds later, Saito was off using his connections to get Cobb back home]].
* {{Determinator}}: Deconstructed, he explores the concept of dream levels to the point he can no longer tell what is reality. [[spoiler: The final scene where he finally sees his children, he doesn't even check to see if he's in a dream.]]
* DisappearedDad: Cobb is one for his children, whom he hasn't seen in years. When he managed to call them, they wondered when he's coming home, to which he replied he can't.
--> '''Miles:''' It would take more than a few stuffed animals to convince those children they still have a father.
* DoubleThink: ...of what's real and what isn't.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler:He essentially went through two limbo experiences to see his children again, or find a projection of them.]]
* GoshDangItToHeck: Just listen to him in the scene of his wife throwing herself off a roof.
* GuileHero: His Mr. Charles persona. Basically a manipulative ploy to convince the dreamer that he's a projection of the mind.
* HeartbrokenBadass: Dead wife and children he can never see, and he's arguably the world's greatest extractor.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: He didn't explain the risks behind the sedation and limbo to his team because he needed to go through with the job to get back to his children.
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: A common interrogation technique of his for extraction, but only in dreams.
* LongingForFictionland: [[spoiler:He really wishes the projection of Mal in his dreams could match the real Mal.]]
* TheLostLenore: His dead wife, Mal.
* LovingAShadow: The projection of Mal and the memories he relives in his dreams is the only connection Cobb still has with his dead wife. [[spoiler:In the end, Cobb is able to admit Mal's projection is a poor attempt to hold onto his dead wife because his imagination can't come close to replicating the real Mal.]]
* ManipulativeBastard: Several cases. He recruited Ariadne by exposing her to the dream technology and counted on her wanting to further experiment with it. He didn't warn his team about being killed and sent to limbo. The Mr. Charles ploy. [[spoiler:He also performed inception on Mal by destroying her belief in reality so they could wake up from their time in limbo.]]
* MeaningfulName: "Cobb" means "dream" in Sanskrit, Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi. It's also an old English word for "spider" (hence the word "cobweb"). Fitting, for a man who weaves webs and traps others in them.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: [[spoiler:To escape limbo with his wife, he destroyed her idea of reality so she would kill herself to wake up. After that she still thought reality wasn't real and killed herself again.]]
* OlderThanTheyLook: [[spoiler:In the middle of the film, he has lived eighty years mentally -- by the end, it's unknown how old he is.]]
* PermaStubble: Can double as a BeardOfSorrow.
* TheresNoPlaceLikeHome: He takes part in the inception job just because Saito offers him a chance to return home to his kids.
* WhenYouComingHomeDad: Said word for word by his son James.
* WhereDoYouThinkYouAre: "You're in a dream."
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: He was implicated by his wife Mal for her death in a letter she filed with her attorney; as a result he became a wanted fugitive who can never return home to his children.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Subverted. He doesn't wish to dispose of Nash like Saito offered.

!!Arthur [-(Creator/JosephGordonLevitt)-]
->''A dream within a dream within a dream? Is that even possible?''

* BadassBookworm: His job with the group is to do the research, and his hallway fight definitely pushes him into badass territory.
* ButtMonkey: Poor Arthur. He gets shot twice at the beginning. Once just to cause him pain, and once BY HIS OWN TEAMMATE (admittedly to wake him up). When it comes to testing out the "kicks", somehow Arthur's always the one getting his chair knocked over, his gun dissed by Eames, and so on. His awesomeness at the end makes up for it, though.
* TheComicallySerious: Arthur is the most level-headed and serious member of the team, and as such is not amused by Eames' somewhat careless behavior, getting his chair constantly tipped over, or loud music.
* CriticalResearchFailure: In-universe example, Arthur fails to find out that Fisher has had mental training to protect his subconscious from infiltration - arguably the most important piece of information needed when planning to infiltrate someone's dream.
* ConsummateProfessional: He has an intense professionalism and intolerance to the lack of detail that goes into the inception job.
* DeadpanSnarker
* MrExposition: Provides Ariadne with a lot of expository information.
* ThePerfectionist: [[CrowningMomentOfFunny "Specificity"]]
* RealityWarper: Arthur's no slacker when it comes to warping reality, and he even manages to turn recursive, impossible geometry back on his opponents.
* TheReliableOne: To Cobb, he's the one man he always needs in a dream job.
* SharpDressedMan: His signature look.
* WaistcoatOfStyle: Normal dress style.

!!Saito [-(Creator/KenWatanabe)-]
->''...So do you want to take a leap of faith, or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone?''

* CorruptCorporateExecutive: He hired the team to break apart his rival's company. However, given how said rival is equally corrupt, Saito's motives can be seen in a more sympathetic light.
* {{Fiction 500}}: When the team points out that they will have to buy several dozen first-class seats on a trans-pacific jumbo jet flight to permit them to dream-share with Fischer without interruption;
-->"I bought the airline. ...It seemed neater."
* HonorAmongThieves: Claims he will honor his deal with Cobb no matter what. [[spoiler: He does.]]
* InstantExpert: Played with. He [[spoiler: becomes a self-taught dream architect during the unknown-but-lengthy time he spends in limbo]], but by that point he's [[OlderThanTheyLook had plenty of time to practice]].
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler: Double Subverted, it looks like he's going to be trapped in limbo but Cobb rescues him and he suffers no consequences in having a business competitor inceptioned.]] [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope After spending]] ''[[TheSlowPath decades]]'' [[AndIMustScream inside his dream.]]]]
* TheLoad: He's labelled as a "tourist" by Eames and is shot in the first dream layer. In the third layer, he [[spoiler:redeems himself by holding off the projections in the vault room.]]
* OlderThanTheyLook: [[spoiler:He's the old man in the Japanese pagoda who shows up in the film's beginning and end.]]
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: While most shady [=CEO=]s would simply brush off Cobb's demands for the particulars of the inception on a "need to know basis", Saito actually answers questions if he's convinced they're good ones, and makes a personal effort to help facilitate the heist and "protect his investments."
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: Not the worst example of it, and it even contributes to a CrowningMomentOfFunny. The other example is how he is getting the [[spoiler: murder charges on Cobb erased.]]
* SharpDressedMan: Justified in that he's a corporate executive.
* TheTeamBenefactor: He is paying everyone.
* TookALevelInBadass: [[spoiler:As the team goes deeper, he plays a more active role, even taking out some dream-mercenaries with a grenade. And despite lacking any formal training in dream-architecture, he's managed to build a a pagoda, complete with servants, for himself by the time Cobb is able to find him.]]

!!Ariadne [-(Creator/EllenPage)-]
-> ''Donít lose yourself. [[spoiler:Find Saito. And bring him back.]]''

* AudienceSurrogate: Unlike most cases, though, she's able to pick up on things pretty quickly instead of asking questions all the time.
* BadassBookworm: Comes with being an Architect.
%%* BrainyBrunette
* CorruptTheCutie: Professor Miles even refers to Cobb as wanting to "corrupt" one of his best students. Cobb openly tells her the job is not legal, but he, Arthur, and Ariadne herself each admit that after tasting the power of dream architecture, she would never want to go back. She willingly joins TheTeam.
* FascinatingEyebrow: Makes this when Cobb shows her a RealityWarper act for the first time in the dream.
* TheHeart: Her status as this helps her to get closer to Dom and realize that he has issues that need resolving.
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: This is essentially what the dream world offers compared to reality and is what Cobb counts on for Ariadne to join the team.
* LongingForFictionland: She can design much better pieces of architecture in a dream than she could in reality.
* MeaningfulName: With a name like [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariadne that]], of course you'd be making mazes.
* NaiveNewcomer: Learns everything there is to know about dream-sharing technology over the course of the film.
* TheNotLoveInterest: To Cobb.
* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent: She starts out as a normal, if talented, architecture student, before she was recruited by Cobb to participate in their mission.
* RealityWarper: Her first dream session with Cobb is all about learning to use her architecture skills to develop levels.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: She is the only female of the Inception Crew, and a newcomer on top of that.
* TookALevelInBadass: [[spoiler:The mission was called a failure when Fisher was sent to limbo but she devised the plan to go find him and pull off the mission, Eames and Cobb didn't pick the extra limbo time but she's a fast learner. She also shoots Mal.]]
* TheWatson: Being the newbie of the group, a lot of her lines involve her ask question about the dream mechanics.

!!Eames [-(Creator/TomHardy)-]
-> ''[[SarcasmMode Your condescension, as always, is much appreciated, Arthur.]]''

* AmbiguouslyGay: Eames calls Arthur "darling" and flirts with Saito (as well as Fischer, although that one is a part of the job) in a girl's form.
* TheBigGuy: When the team encounters a problem, his solution is to pull out a grenade launcher.
* DeadpanSnarker
* ForgingScene: When he pulls out a grenade launcher in the MoreDakka scene below.
* TheGamblingAddict: Gambles a lot during his free time, and Cobb finds him in a gambling parlour.
* TheGadfly: His every interaction with Arthur is basically him trying to unnerve him. He also gets Saito nervous posing as a blonde women then pointing it out.
%%* GuileHero: Oh yes. See below.
* MasterOfDisguise: After learning someone's mannerisms and using his dream skill of looking like another person.
* MeaningfulName: "Eames" is the last name of architects and designers Charles and Ray Eames.
* MoreDakka: When Arthur was having some difficulty trying to shoot off the projections in the first dream level, he simply pulls out a grenade launcher and blew up the enemies in no time.
* NewJobAsThePlotDemands: He's somehow able to get a job placement in the Fisher company right within their head office to observe Browning. His justification? "References are sort of my specialty."
* OneManArmy: Puts down a snow fortress brigade [[{{Crowning Moment of Awesome}} by himself]] in the third dream level.
* PermaStubble: Unlike Cobb's though, it's more to showcase his playful personality.
* PunchClockVillain: Mentions going back to his family when the mission is declared a failure at first.
* RealityWarper: In the dream world, Eames is the team's "forger", which also explains why he's the team's most competent member during the execution of the mission. His forging ability allows him to pull out a grenade launcher [[{{Hammerspace}} out of nowhere]] in the first level, [[{{Shapeshifting}} shapeshift]] in the second level, and to a certain extent become a OneManArmy in the third level.
* WarriorTherapist: He works out most of Fischer's "problems" before and during the dream. He even sarcastically mentions that he should be getting paid more by Fischer than Saito for the job.

!!Yusuf [-(Dileep Rao)-]
-> ''Do you still dream, Mr. Cobb?''

* BadassDriver: In the first layer, he has to continue driving the van and perform the kick while the projections are trying to kill them.
* BollywoodNerd: A cool nerd, though, and one who can handle himself in the heat of action, which is key considering his dream is the top layer.
* GoodOldWays: His old-fashioned apothecary.
* MeaningfulName: Yusuf is the Arabic variant of Joseph (the one who famously interpreted Pharaoh's dreams in Literature/TheBible).
* OnlyInItForTheMoney: Took Cobb's pay as well as his own, [[spoiler: so he didn't tell anyone about the risk of being killed and sent to limbo.]]
* PottyEmergency: His having to go before falling asleep results in the first dream layer having a drenching downpour.
* SirNotAppearingInThisTrailer
%%* TookALevelInBadass: See BadassDriver.

!!Malorie "Mal" Cobb [-(Creator/MarionCotillard)-]
-> ''I'll tell you a riddle. You're waiting for a train, a train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you don't know for sure. But it doesn't matter. How can it not matter to you where that train will take you? ''

* AntiVillain: [[spoiler:The projection of Mal only wants to have Cobb all to herself but sabotages every dream mission he does.]]
* AxCrazy: She's a dangerous lunatic who kills several people to get to Cobb.
* BigBad: She's the main antagonist of the film who tries to sabotage all the dream jobs. This is eventually revealed to be much more complicated [[spoiler:as she's an aspect of Cobb's guilt-ridden psyche, so he's essentially fighting his own angst.]]
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: [[spoiler: Cobb performed inception on the real Mal so she could escape limbo but she ended up unable to tell dream from reality and wanted to kill herself to keep waking up.]]
* BrainyBrunette: [[spoiler:Before her breakdown,]] Mal was the one who originally came up with the idea of totems, items that would stabilize a dreamer's sense of reality. [[spoiler:Oh, the {{irony}}.]]
* BrokenBird: [[spoiler:The real after waking up from limbo stopped believing in reality.]]
* DeathGlare: Pfft, Marion's such a cute actress, she couldn't possib[[http://i.imgur.com/MMTCL.jpg eeeeehhhh]]...
* DissonantSerenity: When the dream is collapsing and everyone else is running around frantically, what does Mal do? She calmly walks through the destruction and is amused [[spoiler:at how Dom gave Saito the wrong documents]].
* DreamApocalypse: [[spoiler:Cobb eventually comes to terms with the fact that Mal is just a projection of his dead wife, which is simply not good enough. Mal flies into a rage in response and Cobb is forced to kill her, where she cries that she doesn't want to die but remain with him.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:In her mind, she thought she would just wake up from a dream.]]
* EnemyWithin: [[spoiler:She's a part of Dom's own mind, a shade of his dead wife.]]
%%* FemmeFatale
* GoneHorriblyRight: [[spoiler:Meet one of the first people to have ever been subject to inception. [[DrivenToSuicide It doesn't end well]].]]
* [[ImplacableMan Implacable Woman]]: Absolutely relentless and nearly impossible to reason with. Even if you're a trained dream infiltrator, when she shows up it's time to panic.
* TheLostLenore: [[spoiler:To Cobb, who is still heartbroken after losing her to a suicide which he personally witnessed.]]
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: Her love for Cobb and her children drove her to frame him for murder so they could be together in the "real world", which she was convinced was one more layer above what Cobb thinks is the real one already. [[spoiler:The Mal projection simply wants Cobb and her to be together forever and is willing to kill for it.]]
* MissingMom: Her kids don't even understand why she is gone.
* TheMissingno: In every dream job she's there to sabotage it.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: "Mal" is a word in French, Spanish, Portuguese and other Romance languages, which can be used in different contexts to mean "bad", "evil", "hurt", "pain" or "sick".
* OlderThanTheyLook: For the same reason as Dom.
* TheOphelia
* PosthumousCharacter: [[spoiler:It's eventually revealed that Mal has been dead for years. The one Cobb and the team repeatedly encounter is a projection of Mal.]]
* PsychoExGirlfriend: She's the crazed projection of Cobb's now-deceased wife.
* SpannerInTheWorks: Quite a couple of times, Mal puts a dent in the plans.
* ThanatosGambit: [[spoiler: Mal commits suicide, but makes it look like Cobb murdered her so he'll be compelled to do it with her or lose custody of the children. Of course, like the many characters who kill themselves in dreams in this movie, she doesn't believe she's really dying.]]
* TragicVillain: Mal really has no choice about being a psychotic, murderous, obsessed FemmeFatale. She just wants to be with Cobb forever, but the villainous Mal in Cobb's dreams isn't even his real wife, but a shade of the woman he can't bear to forget. [[spoiler:The dead Mal herself was brainwashed by Cobb, but inadvertently became so obsessed with the notion of her world not being real that she killed herself and framed Cobb for it to force him to come with her out to the next dream layer (which did not exist). All out of love.]]
* WalkingSpoiler: The trailers make it out that she's the PsychoPartyMember of sorts, but given the spoilers, [[spoiler:she's actually Cobb's wife who killed herself and continued to exist through Cobb's guilt, manifesting into something... unstoppable.]]
* {{Yandere}}: She's so obsessed with getting Cobb back to her that she's willing to kill for it.

!!Prof. Stephen Miles [-(Creator/MichaelCaine)-]
-> ''Come back to reality, Dom.''

%%* CoolOldGuy
* TheMentor: He was this to Cobb.
* TheProfessor: A professor in Architecture who somehow knows about the dream mechanics, and was the one who taught Cobb everything he knows. He's also Ariadne's teacher.

!!Robert Michael Fischer Jr. [-(Creator/CillianMurphy)-]
->''At the end, he called me to his deathbed. He could barely speak; but he took the trouble to tell me one last thing. He pulled me close... and I could only make out... one word: "Disappointed."''

* AntiVillain: Type IV. He's only a "villain" in so far as he's inheriting his father's legacy of creating a monopoly.
%%* LivingMacGuffin
* MeaningfulName: Fischer's name may be a reference to the Arthurian legend of the FisherKing, whose kingdom physically changes to parallel his wounds and suffering; this is appropriate given that much of the film takes place within his troubled mental landscape. Also, "Robert Fischer" was the name of the famous chess player.
* MissingMom: His mother died when he was only 11.
* SharpDressedMan: Justified for the same reason as Saito.
* TheSixthRanger: [[spoiler:Joins the inception crew in the third dream layer, under the impression that he's getting information on someone who was trying to extract from him.]]
* SugarAndIcePersonality: Though he usually puts up the image of TheStoic, it's clear that he cares about other people and has an emotional side.
* WellDoneSonGuy: [[spoiler:He yearns for his cold, dying father's affection and eventually receives it, but only in his subconscious.]]

!!Maurice Fischer [-(Creator/PetePostlethwaite)-]

* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Implied, though due to his very limited time on screen it's not confirmed.
* {{Jerkass}}: Towards his son at least.
* SmallRoleBigImpact: He appears for less than five minutes but him building up a soon-to-be monopoly is what kicks off most of the plot.
* WeHardlyKnewYe

!!Nash [-(Lukas Haas)-]

->''[[CriticalResearchFailure Asshole! How did you mess up the carpet?]]''
--> - '''Arthur to Nash'''

* CriticalResearchFailure: In-universe. Nash creates a dream replica of Saito's "love nest", but forgets details like what the carpet's made out of. This lets Saito know he's still in a dream.
* DirtyCoward: Sold out Cobb and Arthur to Saito.
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: Saito thinks so.
* SacrificialLamb: His leaving early gives way to Ariadne getting hired by Cobb.